Table Tennis - St John A overcome large handicap to see off Old Grammarians

Nicole Bird
Nicole Bird

Division One side St John A did extremely well to overcome a large handicap as they beat Old Grammarians in the first round of the Wellingborough & District League’s Stanley L Hunt (Printers Ltd) Challenge Trophy.

The key moments were games three and four where Grant Timms restricted Colin Lord to a mere 16 points and an in-form Pete Boustred only conceded 19 points to Chris Smith.

In game nine, Dave Bayes did will in a 11-8, 6-11, 10-11, 5-11 defeat by Jon Perkins to leave a deficit of six at the doubles. Timms and Boustred duly won out for a 432-417 victory.

Stanwick (0) 366 (Al Hayes 96/109, Carl Eaves 111/92, Ian Phillips 119/90) Chesterwell D (50) 377 (John Waples 111/104, Joy Watson 52/132, Henryk Schmied 128/90): The League’s bottom markers gave a gritty display and although Joy Watson went down heavily to Carl Eaves

and Ian Phillips, managing only 27 points in 8 games, her team-mates rallied round.

The hero was Henryk Schmied who won out against Al Hayes and Eaves respectively. Fifteen points in front at the doubles, Waples and Schmied shared 11-8, 8-11, 6-11, 11-0 to win out by 11 points.

Westfield F(140) 411 (Amrat Mistry 79/132, Linda Freeman 89/127, Trevor Fairall 80/126) St John B (0) 429 (Alan Hill 132/63, John Betts 126/95, Paul Lipczak 127/90): With only six league places separating these teams it looked a severe handicap, but St John B gave an excellent display which illustrated the gulf between the divisions.

Key games were one and eight where, against Amrat Mistry and Trevor Fairall, Alan Hill dropped only 34 points, 17 to each player.

Mistry did his best to make amends in game nine, losing out 10-11, 6-11, 8-11, 10-11 to John Betts to keep the hosts in front, but an excellent 11-1, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 doubles win by Hill and Paul Lipczak over Linda Freeman and Mistry saw the visitors home by 18 points.

Chesterwell A (0) 439 (Valdi Papiernik 132/51, Graham Ellson 132/53, Stan Galkowski 131/44) Wanderers E (250) 421 (Heather Sawyer 46/131, Diana Wiseman 34/132, Derek Shears 68/132): Games five and seven saw Derek Shears take 25 points off Valdi Papiernik and 26 off Graham Ellson which, with a huge handicap, should have made the visitors favourites.

However, sandwiched between these games, Diana Wiseman managed only seven points against Stan Galkowski to nullify the advantage. Only three behind at the doubles, the current champions were odd-on favourites and Papiernik and Galkowski duly won out 11-6, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 for an 18-point victory.

Chesterwell C (65) 355 (Maxine Shears 101/108, Stuart Coles 57/132, Claire Coles 101/121) Chesterwell B (0) 395 (Craig Dilley 112/95, Ian Souster 119/87, Luke Hughes 130/76): With Craig Dilley and Ian Souster far from their best, this would have been a comfortable win for the lower side.

However, Maxine Shears, with excellent wins over both players, blotted her copybook against Luke Hughes, going down 4-11, 11-9, 0-11, 5-11 to mean she actually lost points on the night.

Game two saw Stuart Coles go down 5-11, 3-11, 6-11, 4-11 to Souster and the B side won out by 40 points, which was very flattering on the night.

Westfield A (0) 435 (Daniel Smalley 132/55, Steve Hobbs 128/72, Alex Aston 131/64) Old Grammarians A (125) 337 (Phil Laurence 58/132, Mick Ball 46/132, Perce Sharp 89/127): A handicap of 125 against a side in the same division should, at the very least, ensure a close result.

But in a horror display, the Old Grammarians size went down by 98 points. Symbolic of their performance were games one, two and six where Phil Laurence managed 12 points against Daniel Smalley, Mick Ball, 16 against Steve Hobbs and a further 13 against Alex Aston.

Compared to his team-mates, septuagenarian Perce Sharp performed manfully and scored 87 points on the night, which if repeated by his colleagues would have avoided an embarrassing defeat.

Westfield D (0) 426 (Owen Morris 127/71, Alfie Wright 132/57, Jonathan Edlund 130/71) Old Boys (140) 374 (Mark Smith 60/132, Thad Wronek 52/132, Aarron Shelton 87/125): The difference between the divisions was illustrated once again in this tie.

The visitors were continually under handicap and their only ray of hope was game five where Aarron Shelton shared 10-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 with Westfield’s Owen Morris and Westfield D ran out rather more comfortable winners than a 52-point margin suggested.

Westfield B (0) 400 (Scott Dixon 117/100, Nigel Payne 117/101, Nicole Bird 130/78) Higham Band C (130) 450 (Alan Wooten 90/116, Pete Martin 92/124, Keith Stockley 97/124): This was an excellent display by the Band Club C team who took full advantage of a poor night by the inconsistent Scott Dixon in his first Wellingborough League appearance of the season.

Undoubted hero for the visitors was Keith Stockley who, in game five, won out 11-8, 11-10, 10-11, 11-7 against Dixon and joined with Pete Martin for an 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 doubles win over Dixon and Nicole Bird.

It was certainly a case of gentlemen letting the ladies down as Bird was never troubled and a repeat by her partners would have ensured victory instead of a 50-point defeat.

Westfield C (0) 376 (Peter Sheldrick 122/86, Dave Long 110/104, Mark Ramsden 96/114) Higham Harriers A (100) 440: (Graham Bird 112/109, Craig Hartwell 82/112, Mick Malins 110/107): Harriers A, always a good cup side, easily bridged the gap between divisions and games three and eight saw Mick Malins and Graham Bird whitewash a below-par Mark Ramsden, who only managed 29 points in each game to give the hosts an impossible task. Peter Sheldrick was spot on handicap but Dave Long only clawed back six points and the visitors cruised home.

The other matches saw Wanderers A beat Thrapston, Westfield E see off Wanderers D while Higham Harriers B forfeited to Higham Band D.